Just when you thought you had an idea of what to expect in the NFL, Week 6 came and turned everything upside down again. The Green Bay Packers went from Super Bowl favorites to long shots to even make the playoffs after losing star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a fractured collarbone. The defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons followed up a loss to the Buffalo Bills with a loss to the Miami Dolphins as they continue to struggle with holding leads. The Kansas City Chiefs had their perfect season ended by a Pittsburgh Steelers team that had looked awful heading into the week. And just when you thought the injury-riddled New York Giants were dead and gone, they picked up their first win of the season on the road as a 14-point underdog at Denver.
The focus now shifts to what could be another wild week around the league. Here is your NFL rundown for Week 7.
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Odds: Miami -3
The Jets threw everything they had at the New England Patriots and nearly beat them. New York was the victim of a rule most fans didn’t even know about until it was enforced on Sunday when the Jets had what looked to be a touchdown turned into a fumble turnover in a one-score game. New York lost 24-17, while the Dolphins were busy shocking the football world with a 20-17 victory over the defending NFC champions in Atlanta. Miami is now 3-2 and despite a pair of absolutely awful showings, they are back in the mix in the AFC East.
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
Odds: Carolina -3
Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky helped produce another surprising result last week when he led the Bears to a 27-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Trubisky threw for just 113 yards and a touchdown, but that’s all that was needed as the Bears churned out 231 rushing yards.
The Panthers are coming off a tough loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the battle for first place in the NFC on Thursday Night Football last week. With a couple more days to prepare, Carolina should be in line to bounce back on the road with a win over the Bears. The key will be for them to stop the run. If they can do that, they’ll be in good shape to beat the Bears.
Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers
Odds: Dallas -6
The Cowboys will (very likely) be without star running back Ezekiel Elliott when they visit San Francisco on Sunday. The Cowboys are off a bye but have underwhelmed this season. Now they’ll face a winless 49ers team that has played much better than its 0-6 record might indicate. San Francisco has five losses by three points or less this season – the first time that’s ever happened in NFL history. They could very well be 3-3 heading into this contest. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard looks like an upgrade over Brian Hoyer after he completed 19 of 36 pass attempts for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception in last week’s 26-24 loss to the Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys better find a way to run the ball because if they don’t, they’ll be in a dogfight. And they need to protect the football after coughing up five turnovers in their last two games.
Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
Odds: New England -3
The rematch of last year’s Super Bowl hasn’t lost much appeal despite surprisingly poor starts for both teams. The Patriots improved to 4-2 with a 24-17 win over the Jets last week and while they have won three in a row, they have looked vulnerable in all but one of their contests this season. Meanwhile, Atlanta is coming off back-to-back losses to Buffalo and Miami, so clearly something is wrong. The Falcons will get their shot at redemption under the bright lights on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots defense has struggled this season. We’ll see if the Falcons can exploit it and get their revenge.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Odds: Rams -3.5
The Cardinals got a shot in the arm from Adrian Peterson last week as he ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns last week. The Cardinals ran for 160 as a team in their win over Tampa Bay; they had a total of 256 rushing yards in their first five games. Now they’ll go on the road to face an upstart Rams team that is a play or two away from being 6-0 this season. Arizona has been brutal in road games this season but another strong outing from Peterson would go a long way in helping this team secure a win.
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Odds: Eagles -4.5
The Redskins and Eagles are the top two teams in the NFC East and they’ll battle it out on Monday Night Football. In a season where it’s hard to tell who’s a quality team and who’s not, the Eagles might be the best team in the league right now. They’re 5-1 and their only loss was on the road to Kansas City. However, the Redskins are lurking at 3-2 and if they can get the win here, they’ll be a half-game out of first place.
This will be a big test for the Eagles secondary, which is deemed to be their weakness. The Redskins, who are coming off a bye, have the league’s eighth-ranked pass offense.